The explosion of geek culture in the last twenty years has brought Dungeons and Dragons into the limelight. Gone are the days when it was relegated to dark and dusty basements. Gone are the days when people would assume that it was some kind of devil worshipping ritual. Now, it is a fun and engaging way to spend your Friday evening with a handful of friends.
The thing about D&D, however, is that it is more than just a game with dice (and potentially funny voices). There are plenty of benefits to playing this beautiful tabletop-roleplaying game, even outside of the maps, the boards and geek culture. To convince you that you actually do need Dungeons and Dragons in your life, we’ve devised this list of some of those benefits.
1. It expands your imagination and improves problem-solving skills
The only limits to what you can do in Dungeons and Dragons are set by your imagination. Other than being a tabletop roleplaying game, Dungeons and Dragons is a form of collaborative storytelling. Though there is a Dungeon Master to manage the story and the universe, each person gets to spin a little bit of their own imagination into the tale.
You might ask, what good does imagination do for an adult? Well, science has shown that activities that involve frequent imagination can improve problem-solving skills by great margins. It is essential, even, for the development of problem-solving skills in children.
2. It improves your social skills
The beauty of Dungeons and Dragons is that it encourages teamwork and collaboration. It encourages banding together to defeat imaginary but seemingly insurmountable odds. To have fun in Dungeons and Dragons, a group must build their camaraderie. This means learning how to assert yourself in meaningful ways that promote the development of connections, and learning how to recognize the other people’s boundaries.
It teaches players how to manage being in a group, and learning to balance your needs with the greater collective’s. After all, it is great to have fun, but never at the expense of your partymates.
3. It develops empathy
A study from the Worcester Polytechnic institute performed an experiment on engineering students that involved elements of role-playing to understand the social context of the work they were required to do. Using specially designed surveys, the students were shown to have experienced a large boost in the understanding of empathic communication.
Dungeons and Dragons demands the exact same thing from its players. By stepping into another person’s shoes for a few hours per game, players can expand their capacity for empathy. In today’s world, few things are as important as a capacity to understand the unique circumstances of other people.
In conclusion: It’s bloody good fun
Few things are as fun as destroying evil and vicious monsters with your friends. In Dungeons and Dragons, you can experience having powers of all kinds, such as the ability to launch fireballs from your fingers, to the power to inflict harm upon your enemies with mere insults. There is no end to the fun that can be had in Dungeons and Dragons.
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